• Gentle to moderate southerly winds in the forecast for today and tomorrow followed by strong southwest to west winds Monday and Tuesday.
• Risk of shoreline damage, erosion and/or flooding all along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the high bluffs.
• Although forecasts could change by Monday, at this time they suggest a strong likelihood of significant flooding along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent.
Weather forecasts are calling for gentle to moderate southerly winds (southwest to southeast) for the rest of today and tomorrow. Some forecasts suggest winds could rise above 25 km/hr from the south at times during this period. Although wind forecasts two to three days out often change, forecasts for Monday and Tuesday are calling for strong southwest to west winds. Winds are predicted to begin rising overnight Sunday into Monday. By Monday afternoon, southwest winds could be above 50 km/hr. Some forecasts suggest winds in the afternoon Monday could even reach gale speeds; over 60 km/hr.
Due to high lake levels, there is a risk that wave action could damage shoreline protection works and cause erosion all along the Lake Erie shoreline in Chatham-Kent and Elgin County, including along the high bluff areas. Flooding should also be expected in low lying shoreline areas. Along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent flooding has been observed with wind speeds around 25 km/hr should the winds come from the right direction for a long enough period of time. If the gale speed winds predicted for Monday actually appear, there would be significant flooding along Erie Shore Drive and increased risk of shoreline damage for other areas.
While there is still some uncertainty in the forecasts this far out, due to the holiday weekend, residents and workers along the shoreline may need additional time to prepare. Those residents and workers, should pay attention to local conditions.
People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should conditions get rough. The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery. There could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water which could be thrown onto the shore. Standing water can also present unseen hazards. Children and animals should be kept away from the water.
Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update this advisory if necessary.
This message will be in effect until April 15, 2020.
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